`World' channel finalized

Horse racing

April 08, 2006|By BILL ORDINE | BILL ORDINE,SUN REPORTER

A definitive agreement to televise North American horse racing, including from Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, in the United Kingdom and Ireland was announced yesterday.

A partnership that includes Magna Entertainment Corp., Churchill Downs Incorporated and Racing UK launched a subscription television channel, called Racing World, on March 8 to broadcast races from tracks in North America and elsewhere. The plans had been announced in a memorandum of understanding earlier in the year.

The Kentucky Derby and the Preakness are among the races that audiences in the U.K. and Ireland - where there's an enthusiastic racing fan base - will see on Racing World, according to a spokeswoman for Churchill Downs.

Along with the Maryland tracks, Churchill Downs, Hollywood Park, Gulfstream Park and others will be featured on Racing World. It is anticipated that TV audiences in the U.K. and Ireland will be able to wager on the races online and over the phone, according to Richard Peden, Magna Entertainment vice president for content management.

Neither Churchill Downs nor Magna Entertainment expects revenues generated by Racing World to have a material impact on their companies' respective earnings or cash flow in 2006, according to the announcement.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

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